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Tourism Launches Off-Season Marketing Blitz

It takes money to make money, according to the old business adage, and the V.I. Department of Tourism followed that notion by launching a $2.4 million, 60-day marketing blitz to attract visitors to the territory during the late summer and fall months.

The new campaign, announced Wednesday, features advertising, public relations and sales outreach to call attention to the very successful "Sizzlin’ Sampler Promotion," designed to increase air travelers and entice visitors to the territory.

Another key component of the plan calls for support of the "group and incentive" market, which has remained slow to recover but is a crucial segment of the territory’s tourism industry. The department’s strategy calls for a reward that can only be used when local destination management companies are involved in the booking process, which provides the opportunity to measure return on investment since the rewards will only be applicable for bookings of 20 rooms or more staying a minimum of three nights.

The plan calls for more than $800,000 in new advertising to promote the territory to leisure travelers, travel agents, cruise and meeting planners. The buy will feature additional exposure nationally on CNN and Headline News, as well as targeted online ads in travel agent and cruise and meeting planner trade publications.

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Another $545,000 will be dedicated to advertising that supports the existing "St. Croix Fantastic Flight" offer and "Your Port of Solace" program. As part of the campaign, a four-minute in-flight video will play on all Delta flights in the world during August, highlighting the features of St. Croix as a vacation destination.

“Our ability to deliver an effective tourism marketing effort is based on how quickly we can adjust our plans to meet the changing landscape around us,” said Tourism Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty, “Our 60-day plan represents $2.4 million in resources to address concerns we see in the marketplace and maximize visitor arrivals in the late summer and early fall months."

To fund the tourism campaign, $1.7 million was released as a part of Act 7168, which provided additional funding for Summer Marketing to the Department of Tourism. The remaining $645,000 will be reprogrammed from the Tourism Advertising Revolving Fund.

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